Category: Classroom Discussion

Creating a Safe Space for Difficult Conversations

In his powerful book “Not Light, But Fire” teacher Matthew Kay shares three rules of discussion – each centered around listening – that he teaches his students. His goal is to transform the classroom into a true “safe space” for difficult conversations about race and life.

Learning the Secrets of Good Class Discussions

One area of Matt Smith’s teaching “that has improved tremendously since my novice days” is facilitating productive discussions. Students need to engage in active talk to process complex ideas. This won’t happen until teachers master “wait time” and stop affirming too much.

How to Scaffold Skills for Student Discussions

Meaningful academic conversation makes for sticky learning, but most students don’t bring a high proficiency in the needed skills to the classroom. Expert Jackie Walsh describes a step-by-step process that can help teachers cultivate deep student discussions.